Prices Rising On the Month: The Costs Behind Prom

Prom is surrounded by an aura of importance which comes from the fun and the significance of upperclassmen celebrating the end of the school year and their high school careers.

This year at Cedar Shoals, teachers Mrs. Alicia Harvey, English department, and Ms. Amelia Haynes, Social Studies department, are planning prom with the help of the student prom committee. Despite the hype of the event, few understand the cost. At Cedar Shoals, the event costs $13,000.

“Total, with everything, it’s about $13,000. But if you look at schools in Gwinnett or Atlanta area, they’re spending $30,000. We do it on a budget and we do what we can, but it’s still a pretty massive amount of money,” said Harvey.

A strict budget is developed in order to meet the necessary expenditures.

“The venue is about $3,000. The food, the catering, is about $3,500, and we are using the catering at the venue because it’s an extra 15% if you use someone else. The DJ is about $500. The favors, which include the t-shirts and anything else that’s gonna go in the goodie bag, is roughly $2,000. The decorations are $1,500. The security is $500. We have an extra ‘other’ category and that’s $650,” said Harvey.

The budget money comes from previous year’s funding and student ticket sales. This year the ticket sales started in December at $30. The low price incentivizes students to buy their tickets earlier so the planning committee can budget more efficiently. The prices increase so that the budget will replenish as the deadline approaches.

“The biggest price difference is $30 dollars. We really just want to know for our own budgeting how much money that we have to spend because our budget comes from students. I don’t think that we’re making a tremendous amount as the price increases. We could have just charged $50 the whole time and it probably would have evened out anyways,” said Haynes.

The school’s expenses are not the only money that is spent on the event. Students spend hundreds of dollars just to look nice for the dance.

Camryn Tanner, 11th grade, went to prom in previous years and plans on going this year as well as the next year. The number of times she attends  does not affect the amount she’s willing to spend.

“I actually initially didn’t want to go over $200 for my dress, but it wound up being around $300. I plan on spending around the same amount for next year, maybe more. Last year my dress was only $45,” said Tanner.

Arnulfo Flores, 12th grade, isn’t planning to spend as much because he feels like the event is only important to certain students.

“I bought the ticket when it was $50, so I’ll only spend like $70 total. Maybe I’ll waste like $25-30 on a tux. I think it’s worth it depending on what you do. It’s supposed to be super important to the ‘popular’ kids, like the prom king and queen, so I guess it depends on who you are on how important it is,” said Flores.

All this money is going towards the glamour of the moment. Prom committee has been working hard to make the event fun and beautiful for the students attending.

“We have a good amount of money set aside to buy really cool prom favors, and we’re really excited because the event space is really nice, The Cotton Press.  We’ve established a partnership with them, that we’re gonna have prom there every year. They’ve been great in terms of helping us out and throwing in things for free or giving discounts. We want it to look VIP,” said Haynes.